The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: 2013 Last Chance for MDC-T - PM

THE 2013 national elections present the MDC-T with the last chance to prove its mettle and failure at the ballot would mark the party's end, party leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai has said.

Addressing party supporters at Murambinda Growth Point in Buhera over the weekend, Mr Tsvangirai acknowledged the existence of divisions in the MDC-T and called for unity if it was to give Zanu-PF a good run in the polls.

"We have one chance left - 2013 - to prove that this party is ready to govern. Tikapotsa ipapo vamwe vava kundofudza mombe," he said.

Mr Tsvangirai, who is Prime Minister in the inclusive Government denied that the MDC-T was losing ground to Zanu-PF.

"Some people are saying the party is finished. They are claiming that Tsvangirai is also finished but let them say so. They are only doing it at their own peril," Mr Tsvangirai said.

Two recent surveys by an American think-tank, Freedom House, and Afrobarometer indicated that the MDC-T has lost ground to Zanu-PF but the party vehemently dismissed it.

Mr Tsvangirai also admitted the problem of vote buying in the MDC-T during primary elections, which he condemned.

"In the MDC we have a policy on how to choose councillors and MPs.

"No candidate will be imposed as we do not believe in the imposition of candidates. We will have primary elections and I want to warn against vote buying.

"Let people choose the leaders that they want," he said.

Mr Tsvangirai challenged the MDC-T to sell its policies to the people other than blaming Zanu-PF on what it could have done wrong in its administration of the country.

He said his party believed in job creation through foreign direct investment and was opposed to the economic empowerment programmes under which foreign companies are obliged at law to cede 51 percent shareholding to indigenous Zimbabweans saying the issue was "not about who owns what".

Mr Tsvangirai criticised President Mugabe's Presidential Well-wishers Input Support Scheme to disadvantaged farmers.

"President Mugabe launched the US$20 million input support programme recently.

"The question is where did he get the money? I have never heard of a President who is a donor in his country," Mr Tsvangirai said.

Interestingly, Mr Tsvangirai went on to urge his supporters to benefit from the Presidential input support scheme when the programme spreads into their areas.

He told his supporters President Mugabe was using proceeds from diamond sales to procure the inputs and further claimed the programme was an election gimmick.

The Presidential input support scheme has always been there well before the discovery of diamonds at Chiadzwa, in Manicaland Province. Ironically, Mr Tsvangirai had donated 10kg of seed maize and 25 kg of fertiliser to his supporters at Humanikwa village on Friday.

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